Hell-Bent by Benjamin Lorr

hell-bentI’ve recently gotten back into doing yoga. And the thing that nobody ever tells you about yoga is that it becomes kind of addictive. So when I walked into my library and saw Hell-Bent I had to pick it up. It is a compelling and revealing memoir about one man’s descent into Bikram yoga, a bit of a take down of Bikram himself by a practitioner and a look at the darker side of what yoga has to offer. Oh, and it’s un-put-downable. Continue reading

The Undertaking by Audrey Magee

The Undertaking by Audrey MageeGutted. That’s how I felt while reading The Undertaking by Audrey Magee. And I mean it in the best way possible. I’d give this book 4 out of 5 stars if I were one to give stars, but it is not an easy read. It’s about a Nazi soldier on the Russian front in WWII and his new wife back in Berlin. So yeah, it’s a pretty horrific war story and Magee’s writing style makes it ever so real. There is not one word to many or out of place. That’s what leaves you feeling gutted. Continue reading

The Past by Tessa Hadley

the-past by tessa hadleyTessa Hadley is one of those writers who is quite well known in the UK, but when I lived in Canada I’d never heard of her. For that reason alone, I was interested in reading The Past. But it also has that age-old story strain that I fall for every time: family gets together at summer home to make a decision. Continue reading

Flat Water Tuesday by Ron Irwin

Flat Water Tuesday by Ron IrwinFlat Water Tuesday by Ron Irwin is a sweet little novel that did not get the attention it deserved. Floated right under the radar. But for me it had all the ingredients of a sure fire winner: middle-aged guy returns to the boarding he school where he rowed to confront some difficult memories. Yes to boarding school tale, yes to rowing and yes to difficult memories.  Continue reading

Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt

mr.splitfoot by Samantha HuntMr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt did not start 2016 off right for me. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t like it. At first i thought it was me – I had a cold while reading it – and as I went on i realized the book and I just weren’t a good fit. Mr. Splitfoot is billed as American Gothic, and tells the story of foster kids turned con-men. There is also a strong thread of cultish behavior, which is what drew me in. Continue reading

Favorites of 2015

Most recommended book: Circling The Sun 

Best Backlist: The Slap

Book I want everyone to read: Born to Walk

Best Survival Story: The Mountain Story

Best Literary Fiction: The Fishermen

Best Canadian (small press): The Mystics of Mile End

Best Canadian: Us Conductors

Best Book in Translation: The Truth and Other Lies

Best Unexpected Read: The Invaders